Saturday, July 28, 2012

In Enstrom we Trust!

Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has his man and it isn't Evander Kane rather Toby Enstrom who agreed to a contract extension yesterday that will keep last season's 2nd highest scoring blue liner in Winnipeg Jet blue until the 2017-18 season. Enstrom served as the yin to Big Buff's yang and despite missing over 22 games, he proved to the Jets management that he is worth a small fortune as the contract will reportedly be paying him an average of $5.75 million dollars per season.

This contract is still over $4 million less than Shea Webber and Ryan Suter stand to make. Enstrom is not near the superstar/all star status of the aforementioned rear guards but his presence on the Jets blue line cannot be underestimated. He may be on the small side, which results in him being out muscled for the puck on occasion but he and Buff have a special chemistry on the ice that allows Buff to free style and work his magic, while Enstrom with his smooth stride and ability to move the puck acts as Buff's security blanket.

The other positive aspect to this signing is that the Jets were able to retain a player who claims to be staying here because he wants to be here as he loves the fans, the atmosphere in the building and the direction in which the club is moving. Naturally it is easy to say all the right things when you get a 2 million dollar raise but Enstrom seems like a straight shooter, despite the fact he only scored 6 times last year.

His signing should help Chevy who is also trying to get Evander Kane to sign a long term deal before he hits the open market next year. It shows the Jets are serious about putting together a quality club. They may not have the ability to sign a Rick Nash, Shea Webber or Zach Parise but they don't need too, (nor should they have to beg a player to come here) when they can retain a player who has developed in their system and could be a number 2 or 3 defenseman on most teams in the league.

This signing won't get much attention around the league but make no mistake it will have a huge impact on his teammates and the psyche of a City that is waking up to the reality of playing in the big leagues and the era of the 100 million dollar player.

On another note, it is sad to see Mark Flood leave for the KHL. He had all the tools to be an unsung hero on the blue line but with the signing of Paul Postma, the writing was on the wall for Mr. Flood. Flood was used sparingly last season on a team deep in defensemen that have to play because of the salary(cap space) they take up. Hopefully Flood will be able to showcase his talents in Russia and get a legitimate chance in the NHL shortly thereafter.

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